Al Cashion: Ignorance, Illiteracy, Innumeracy
December 22, 2012
There. That's out of the way. Now, to the subject at hand.
The three nouns in the headline describe a state of being. Very often, they are used to describe a state of being resulting from one's own volition.
If one is of average IQ and chooses not to read, he has chosen illiteracy.
“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read” —Mark Twain.
If one has a junior high diploma and chooses not to do the math while at the grocery store or when hearing the words "budget deficit," she is an innumerate.
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So much of life is simple math but there are so few fond of the equations.
If one narrows his world to the least possible aggravation, blocking the outside world, taking no advice, seeking no answers, he has given ignorance unto ignorance. It is not hard for the world to hurt you when you lay defenseless and debilitated from self inflicted wounds of high caliber stupid.
Any one of those three nouns is a choice to render oneself servile. Choosing two of them is to lay down the privilege of personal freedom and any right to claim it.
To choose all three is to be completely impotent, void of positive contribution and a societal derelict. One's only contribution to society is to its decay.
The choice of innumeracy makes one easy prey. The list of predators is legion.
Start at the used car lot and end with a politician who didn’t know himself that it takes sixteen thousand billion to make sixteen trillion; sixteen thousand million to make sixteen billion; it takes sixteen thousand times one hundred thousand to make sixteen million …
You can’t wrap your brain around that until you try.
Obviously, the number of people that choose innumeracy is like … uh … like um … a real, real lot.
The choice to leave the written word lay dormant until crumpled for fire starter or to provide a barrier between Tweety Bird’s last act of digestion and the bottom of the cage is to render oneself more prisoner than Tweety Bird.
And the cage is not gilded.
So the illiterate hears the words "sixteen trillion" and hears what the politicians are yelling at each other and pops another top thinking "It'll all get worked out. It always does. Hey Babe, what channel is Wheel of Fortune on?"
Were this Dolt and the Innumerate Chick to get together and exercise some sixth grade math and read some honest information, they would realize that both sides of the isle carelessly are throwing future generations to the dogs.
Even the side they always vote for.
They would see the illogical claims in the two parties. They would recognize promises that cannot possibly be kept. They would recognize when a seller of goods is selling them a bill.
Most of all, they would have answers for their children. They would not be guilty of passing generational ignorance.
The choice of ignorance, illiteracy and innumeracy is the ultimate victimization. It is a heinous crime, a criminal act and a slow and tortuous suicide. It is a sin unto self and ingratitude to our Creator.
And it is intellectual pillaging of the next generation.
One does not have to think himself to be smart, just willing to learn.